The last of my summer reading

September’s reading was fairly light.  The first week I was busy doing non-readerly things, but I read unexpectedly little while at the beach.  And this last week I’ve been re-reading the Kate Daniels Magic series mostly.

Breaking Cover by Kaje Harper.  M/m romantic suspense.  This is the follow up to Life Lessons, which I read a while back.  Background:  one hero is a closeted detective, while the other is an out high school teacher; they met in the first book when the teacher walked in on a murder on school property.  At the end of that book, I had serious qualms about the HFN and longevity of the relationship in light of the different out statuses.  Those concerns are front and center in Breaking Cover — in addition to a serial killer of dark haired women.  The suspense plot works well in parallel to the relationship angst, although I have some thoughts on the unoriginal nature of the killer and his victims — sexually frustrated man taking out his rage on women he sees as promiscuous.  This is pretty good, probably a B- read for me, and it makes me feel more positive about Life Lessons in retrospect.

In a Dark Wood by Josh Lanyon.  Not sure what this was supposed to be — mystery, romance? Extremely short. The mystery/suspense angle was debunking an urban legend and finding out it was real. Felt surreal. Pretext for it all was strained and not credible — who goes camping on a first date?  Eh, I’ve not had great luck with the non-series Lanyon books I’ve tried lately.

The Mephisto Club and Body Double by Tess Gerritsen.  Suspense, procedurals.  I’ve blogged about these books already.  Meh.

New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb.  This installment fell flat for me — and as proof, I read it once and felt no urge to go back to re-read favorite lines or sections.  Usually after tearing through it, I go back for a second read immediately.

Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen.  Urban fantasy, mentioned here.

Headhunters by Jo Nesbo.  Mystery.  Different sort of book compared to Nesbo’s mysteries or police procedurals.  Enjoyed it, although I’m not sure it’s a book I’ll ever re-read.

Barging In by Josephine Myles.  Debut m/m romance.  I’ve been trying to write a review about this book, but it hasn’t happened yet.  Loved the settings — canal boat community, Bath — but felt less convinced by the primary narrator’s attachment to his hero, thought the author brushed over the love interest’s dyslexia (presented at first as a big reason for his lifestyle choices but relegated and easily solved by LURVE).  Some clunky pacing.  Very good debut, would read other books by this author.

 

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4 responses to “The last of my summer reading

  1. I think the Tess Gerritsen series is one that benefits from being read in order. I’m up to Vanish (the one before The Mephisto Club), and so far, the first one has been my favourite. It’s got the very classic plot you’ve read a thousand times (serial killer is terrorising women and the police are after him), but the character development is fantastic.

    I’m very interested in Nesbo, and have got a couple of his Harry Hole books in my TBR (the Snowman and I forget which other one).

    • I was wondering if I’d made a mistake by picking up the Gerritsen books out of order. Maybe I’ll circle back someday and read them in order, and see if the series works better for me then.

      I’ve got The Snowman TBR, too. I liked The Redeemer and The Redbreast a great deal — thanks to Keishon, who recommended them. Headhunters is *very* different, but still good.

  2. I read Life Lessons and thought it started out well but then piled on too many tropes (closeted cop, children, hurt/comfort to the max, evil women). And the murder plot was better plotted and written than in a lot of m/m, but I wasn’t crazy about the motivation of the killer (and the last quarter of the book spiraled out of control for me). But I picked up Breaking Cover in the Fictionwise sale a while ago to see how Harper did in the second book. I’m glad you thought it was worthwhile, and it’s moving up in my TBR now.

    • The way Life Lessons ended really disappointed me and I had mentally written the book and relationship off as a disaster or angst-fest in the making. Some of the things that you disliked in LL recur in Breaking Cover — evil women, or at least either slutty or homophobic women, and children — and one of them (closeted cop) takes center stage.

      Although the two books contain very different mysteries, I think they read better together than separately.

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